I have seen a few Nair ads lately since its summertime and it brought back an experience I never want to relive, ever again. This is a WARNING on the use of Nair the hair remover. About ten years ago I decided I wanted to try Nair just for fun. Since this was my first time adventure with hair removal (I prefer being a hairy beast). I picked up a bottle for sensitive skin. Thinking, hey it’s for sensitive skin. What could possibly go wrong? I thought why not? It is just going to be like a haircut, it is not a long term commitment, and the hair will grow back in a month or so, like nothing happened. No, problem. All I can say is OMG! It was nothing like a haircut and it was the most painful experience of my life.
I followed all the instruction that was on the bottle of Nair and I also tested on an area of my leg, which only felt cold then a little warm (and it states it can cause some stinging, burning, and skin irritation when it is working normally). So I thought this was not bad and normal for the product. And then I put it on my poor unsuspecting legs, which had never done anything to anyone (poor legs). Well, at first it had a cold sensation; I thought this is a piece of cake. Then it got a little warmer, I thought this is still a piece of cake. But then the stinging started, it was somewhat bearable and I read the bottle again and it said some irritation was normal (you are melting hair off your body with an abrasive chemical, so what do you expect). So I waited gritting may teeth. Then the stinging started to burn and then it started to sizzle.
I hurried and wiped off all I could with a damp cloth with no soap (NEVER USE SOAP with any type of hair-removal products because of a chemical reaction, which can damage your skin even farther). Thankfully, a friend of mine had told me about that before or I would have had worse chemical burns. After I got most of the Nair off my legs, I poured cold water over my legs. I felt like someone had literally set my legs on fire from just above the knee down. But the worst was the back of the knee and the back of the calves. The really horrible thing about Nair is that removing it is not stopping its affects; it gets into the hair follicles and into the skin and keeps burning hair and skin. So wiping it off does not stop the burning and neither does flushing plain water over it. It just pushes more of it into the swollen and irritated hair follicles and skin. In about an hour my legs had red patches that looked like I had poured acid on them and in a way I had.
For the rest of that day it burned but I got relief from cleaning with cold water (remember DO NOT use soap) after the Nair was gone and skin creams I had with aloe vera, which both cooled it (but just touching the skin was almost too much). The backs of my calves and knees were the worst; they had inflamed bright red skin and nasty blisters. The next few days were the worst because I could not set down in chairs that touched any part of the backs of my legs and lying down was about as difficult. I was grateful that it was summertime and that I could wear shorts; pants would have been too painful. My legs appearance kind of disturbed people, it looked like I had been in a chemical accident of some kind. As the blisters and swelling went down, it started to peel and scab over, it was nasty. My legs were hairless but looked horrendous. It took over a month to heal and for several months sunlight would make the irritation come back behind my knees and the back of my calves, especially. The amazing thing I did not scar, thank goodness for a good healthy body with healing skills. Now thinking back it might have been good idea to go to a doctor but I was embarrassed and felt like a dumbass for even trying it in the first place.
My legs looked much like this poor Nair victim’s face except more in larger scabbing blisters.
I cannot believe there are people that use this stuff on a monthly basis, even if it messes up their skin. My legs were not completely healed up when I had my hair trying to grow back through the scabs, which was a fun, painful, and itchy experience. To have used it again would have been insane and self-torture. People, body hair is natural but looking like a chemical burn patient that scares small children, literally, is not. I literally scared children and had people ask me what had happen to my poor legs (remember I could not wear long pants for weeks). I am just very lucky and glad my hair came back without an infection and my skin returned to normal.
If you go on a search on the internet, you will find people using this product on their legs, chests, faces, in their armpits, and even in their genital area to remove hair and many with horrible painful results and some keep using it then complain again. Be careful using this product or others like it because it can get nasty and painful fast. My burns took less than five minutes from the application to trying to clean and rinse the stuff off but it took over a year to completely get healed from the burns and skin sensitivity it caused. Forum of other people’s painful and weird experiences with Nair: http://www.whattoexpect.com/forums/may-2011-babies/topic/nair-chemical-burns.html
Human skin should not be treated like this.
Health Risks of Nair Hair Remover
By Richard Rowe
“Of all the ways to eliminate unwanted hair, the oldest of standbys, behind shaving, is the chemical depilatory. Based on a chemical compound once used for tanning leather, it may come as small wonder that Nair comes with its fair share of caveats.
Nair’s active ingredient (calcium hydroxide) is designed to break down the keratin in hair to liquefy it. Human skin also contains a fair amount of keratin, which is where the danger arises.
Since keratin helps to bind the top layer of skin together, destroying it can lead to sunburn-like shedding.
The chemical burns caused by improper usage of Nair can be an incredibly painful endorsement for shaving. Chemical burns can be treated with over-the-counter ointments and creams, but may require medical attention if the area affected is burned past the outer layer of skin.
Localized and sometimes systemic infection often follows burns of any sort and are certainly possible where caustic chemical burns are concerned.
Many have made the mistake of washing Nair away with soap and water, and have lived to regret it. The chemicals in Nair become supercharged by some of the ingredients in soap, causing near-instant chemical burns.
To avoid chemical-burn risks, do not exceed 10 minutes total application time, and do not re-apply or shave for at least 24 hours after application.“